“Tell us Mike…how old were you when you went to your first Rated R movie? And what movie was it? HMMMMM?!”
My wife left this comment on my last post because she was amused by my indignation in seeing a family at The Pineapple Express. This is because when I was a kid I went to many a less than appropriate film with my infamous mother.
Here are just a few of my movie memories:
1984: Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (Rating: “R”)
I was nine when I saw this charming family film about a man named Jason who kills a crap load of people. I don’t remember being traumatized by this one or anything, but I can, twenty-three years on, still summon up an image of a guy getting his head slashed off, and that can’t be good, can it?
1985: Mischief (Rating: “R”)
This one was a teen sex comedy starring a young Kelly Preston who had an extended full frontal nude shot. Disturbingly, despite having that murder scene from Friday the 13th burned into my brain, I have absolutely no memory of seeing the beautiful Mrs. Travolta in the buff. Sigh. I looked this charmer up on IMDB and found the following bit of dialogue from the film:
EXT. BASKETBALL COURT – DAY
John and Eugene are shooting hoops.
JOHN: “So why’d you come to our school?”
EUGENE: “Got kicked out of my last school.”
EUGENE: “F%*$ed three chicks.”
I’d say that’s totally appropriate for a nine-year-old boy to hear, wouldn’t you?
Now that I think about it I just remembered that my mother took me and my friend, David, to see this, and at one point he nudged me and pointed down at his jeans where there was a little pup tent. With a twinkle in his eye he whispered, “Check it out! Boner!”
Gee. I’m drudging up some weird memories here I’d really rather not linger in. Let’s move on to the next film I never should have been watching…
1988 – Above The Law (Rating: “R”)
(NOTE: This film couldn’t have been too bad for kids…after all…they made an action figure out of it!)
I was twelve when I saw Steven Seagal kill lots and lots of bad guys in this one. Interestingly, my mother made us leave the theater early – not because she found the flic innapropriate – but because two dudes in front of us got into a fight and one pulled out a gun!
1991 – The Doors (Rating: “R”)
I was fifteen when I saw this one with dear old Mom. Though I was getting closer to being mature enough to see “R” rated films, I wasn’t quite ready to watch one that featured wall to wall drug use and plenty of Jim Morrison/groupie sex. My mom must have agreed because she actually made us leave after about an hour because she deemed it innapropriate. I was cool with this though because I’d totally already seen Meg Ryan naked.
The funny thing was that, on the way to the car, my mother was fighting mad and kept saying things like, “If I knew this movie was going to be full of that much sex and drugs, well…”
I know, Mom! I mean The Doors? Doing lots of drugs and groupies? Shocking!
Anyhoo, I suppose Heather has a point that it is funny I was so weirded out by the creepy family at The Pineapple Express, but just because I saw “R” rated movies as a kid doesn’t mean I want Maddie to see them as well.
I suppose one could say that I am (relatively) normal despite having seen these movies, and I wouldn’t disagree, but as parents we have to be much more militant today than my parents did. Letting me see this stuff back in the day wasn’t soooo bad because – for example – outside of these few movies I never so much as saw a naked woman. Many kids today, however, have seen hard core porn by the age of nine thanks to the internet.
I think the point is that we have to protect our kids as much as possible in this modern world because innapropriate stuff will get to them, but WE don’t have to supply it.
Anyway, I want to thank all of you for your comments! It is great to hear that for the most part we all agree it is important to protect our kids and keep them young as long as possible.
FYI…my Mom is available to take any of your kids to the movies if you like. Any takers? Anyone?
Because I love your blog and look forward to reading your wit and humor everyday…I’ve nominated you for the Brillante weblog award!
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Ms. Moon says:
Well, this is exactly why you were upset seeing that family at Pineapple Express. You had experience in the matter.
Your mother. Wow.
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Mary Beth says:
I was in 5th grade and the band leader wasn’t in so they showed a movie instead. I think it was The Texas Chainsaw Massacre but I don’t remember very much – just a barn and someone hiding in a tub and being found. I was so afraid to go to sleep, my brother slept on the floor of my room for a week after that. My parents were so mad at the school – it wasn’t long after that year that we were taken out of public and put into Catholic school.
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No thanks on the mom babysitting thing. My kids always had this thought in their heads that the second they turned 13, they would be allowed to see PG-13 films. What they never knew is that the rating didn’t mean so much to us as the content of the film. We made a point of seeing some films first, and if we thought there was some cinematic quality and a well-told story, we could overlook some stuff, or at least have a chance to talk to them about it before they saw it. I think it’s more important to try and equip kids to deal with all the crap that flows out at them than to protect them from it.
Middle-Aged-Womans last blog post..Today I Crossed the Line
Movies that my parents let me watch between the ages of 6 and 10 that scared me for life:
The Wrath of Kahn (this one, I saw in the theather w/my dad, and kept begging him to leave because I was so terrified. He refused. He’s an asshole. And I STILL can’t watch this film.)
I’m with you. Even though my parents made inappropriate film choices for me, I won’t be doing the same for my kid.
When I asked my mom why on earth she’d let me watch those movies, she said she though I was to little to understand them, and claims to have explained to me that they were pretend, and not real. Clearly, her explanation was ineffective since these movies gave me nightmares for years (some still do.)
Oh, and on the Wrath of Kahn, I was actually only four when I saw that – my brother had just been born and my dad was taking me to the movies to get me out of my mom’s hair. He was supposed to be taking me to see ET, but it was sold out. Like I said, asshole.
The other’s I saw either on HBO or VHS.
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Yep, I remember when I was around 10 or so and into EVERYTHING DANCE (leg warmers + jeans = total hotness) my mother asked my uncle (who saw EVERY movie) if he thought Flashdance would be an appropriate film for me to see. He said SURE, I guess forgetting that the movie was totally about a STRIPPER and there were a few ta-ta’s being shaken around in that flick. My mom still talks about wanting to crawl under the seat during the entire movie.
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I’m keeping my fingers crossed that ONE DAY your mom and I will somehow be in the same room. Like for Maddie’s 1st Birthday? (hint hint). Because I think that would be AWESOME.
And to this day I’ve never seen any Friday the 13th or Halloween movies. For reals. Although DJ did make me watch that Freddie vs. Jason movie, but I was on the computer the entire time, so I wouldn’t say I “saw” it. Does that make me a loser? Or a winner?
Sounds like my parents! However, when I was a wee single digit member, my parents would rent movies with sex scenes. All four of kids were told to “Cover your eyes” while my parents watched. Mind you, they could have done the appropriate thing and MUTED the whole thing, but nope, we heard it all. My dear younger brothers, they stole glances through their fingers.
I remember being 11-ish and seeing The Fly. That freaked me out. But not as much as The Invasion of the Body Snatchers when I wasn’t even 5 years old. Release date was days after my 4th birthday and more than likely, my parents took us to the theater. It took me a long time to understand that it wasn’t real. But today, anytime I see a pod like thing, I think Body Snatchers. Freaks me out.
Movie can be traumatizing. I would rather have watched Jason or Freddie!
gins last blog post..A Spark!
my dad took me and my sister to see Flashdance.
in the theater.
i was 5.
alis last blog post..not a soccer mom
Your Mom sounds awesome. My Mom would never let us see any rated R movies. She freaked out when she took us to see Goonies and completely wigged out over the scene where the kid breaks off the penis of a statue and glues it back on upside down so it has a boner. We were like “what’s the big deal Mom? We get boners. We know what they look like.”
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Andrea's Sweet Life says:
My parents totally sheltered me from R rated movies, although I saw one of those Nightmare on Elm Street movies while staying over at a friend’s house in the 5th grade. I hade nightmares for like 2 years and to this day can’t sleep with any part of my body dangling over the side of the bed.
We went to see Step Brothers last week and there was a mom with her 3 young (under the age of 10) boys there. As we left, she said to them, “I don’t think you’ve ever heard so much swearing in your life! Remember, we don’t use those words!”. Funny, she didn’t mention anything about not rubbing “our” balls on other people’s things.
A Free Man says:
The reason they call them ‘double standards’ is that they’re twice as good!
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